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Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Could the Jets bite on Asomugha?


Three weeks ago, Oakland Raiders superduperstar Nnamdi Asomugha stood on the 50-yard line of Sun Life Stadium after the Pro Bowl and told me he wanted to form a dynamic duo with New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Although Asomugha insisted he was "dead serious," he later claimed he was joking.

But it turns out Asomugha's whimsy actually could be attainable for 2010.

ESPN's Adam Schefter blogs the Raiders are actively looking to dump players Insider, including their elite defensive back:
The Oakland Raiders have had multiple discussions -- with multiple teams -- in an effort to see if they can unload any of their players, league sources said. It is similar to what the Raiders did last year, when they sought out trades with other teams, only to find few takers.

The Raiders are open to dealing multiple players on their roster, including Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. The problem is that Asomugha's contract makes him virtually untradable.

Schefter notes Asomugha is scheduled to make $16.59 million -- all guaranteed -- this year and then explains some other wild clauses in Asomugha's contract that only underscore the Raiders' ineptitude.

But let's stop and consider this for a moment.

The Jets need a cornerback. They're almost certain to release Lito Sheppard rather than pay him a $10 million roster bonus in a couple of weeks. Jets head coach Rex Ryan places a premium value on cornerbacks. I wouldn't be surprised if simply hearing "Nnamdi" caused Ryan to throw back his head reflexively and drool like Homer Simpson. Mmmmmm ... Elite shutdown defender ...

The Jets are handcuffed in free agency by the "final eight" plan that, one of the quirky uncapped year rules that essentially prevents them from signing an unrestricted player until one of their unrestricted free agents (Jay Feely, Tony Richardson, Marques Douglas, Larry Izzo, et al) signs elsewhere.

But the Jets can make all the trades they want.

If Asomugha really wants to play with Revis and experience life under defensive savant Ryan -- and get out of Oakland while he's at it -- perhaps he'd be willing to restructure his deal to play for a team that's trying to, you know, win.

The possibility of Asomugha still seems remote because of his contract, but the fact the Raiders are dangling him around the league makes you wonder how nauseous AFC East quarterbacks will get at the mere thought of him and Revis in green and white together.